Solar Impulse is a European long-range solar powered plane project being undertaken at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. 12,000 photovoltaic cells on the upper wing surface and the horizontal stabilizer generate electricity during the day. These propel the plane and charge the batteries to allow flight at night, theoretically enabling the single-seat plane to stay in the air indefinitely.
After a first manned flight over night lasting 26 hours in July 2010 and only using power supplied by the sun, the plane will now set course for its first international destination. On May 23rd it will land at Brussels Airport in Zaventem. The flight coincides with Green Week, Europe’s largest environmental conference. Hosted by the European Commission, representatives from politics and business are taking part.
Bayer MaterialScience has been an official partner of the Solar Impulse project, since 2010, contributing technical expertise, high-tech polymer materials and energy-saving lightweight products.
The next destination for the solar airplane is Paris-Le Bourget Airport, France, where it will be the special guest of the 49th International Paris Air Show from June 20 to 26, 2011.
Image: © Bayer MaterialScience AG
- Bayer MaterialsSciences, Leverkusen, Germany